Global vaccine: GSK lab rakes in $170 million to bring out first malaria vaccine

For the first time in the world, a malaria vaccine is being developed to save millions of lives in third world countries. The announcement was made by Unicef ​​in a press release posted on their official website on August 16 and read in full The vaccine is being developed by the GSK laboratory, which has to supply 18 million doses for an amount of 170 million dollars. invites you to read the original press release

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UNICEF has awarded GSK a contract to supply the first-ever malaria vaccine for an estimated amount of $170 million. This historic contract will provide 18 million doses of RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) over the next three years, saving thousands of lives each year.

In 2020, almost half a million children died from malaria in Africa alone, that’s one infant death every minute.

This launch of the malaria vaccine sends a clear message to manufacturers: they must continue their work because malaria vaccines are needed and sought. “, said Etleva Kadilli, Director of Supply Division, UNICEF. ” We hope this is just the beginning. We must continue to work on the development of innovative new generation vaccines to expand the available supply and enable a more stable vaccine market. This is a giant leap in our collective effort to save children’s lives. and to reduce the burden of malaria as part of broader malaria prevention and control programs. »

Priority for the most exposed countries

According to the WHO More than 30 countries have areas of moderate to high malaria transmission. In these countries, the vaccine could provide additional protection from the disease to more than 25 million children annually.once the offer has been extended.

The result of 35 years of research and development, the RTS,S malaria vaccine is the first-ever vaccine against a parasitic disease. The vaccine is effective against Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest malaria parasite in the world and the most prevalent in Africa.

In 2019, routine pilot use of the vaccine began in three countries – Ghana, Kenya and Malawi – as part of the WHO-coordinated malaria vaccination program. Experiences and lessons learned from the pilot projects fed into the WHO recommendation issued in October 2021 for the widespread use of the first malaria vaccine in countries with moderate to high transmission of P. falciparum malaria. Shortly thereafter, in December 2021, the decision by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to fund malaria vaccination programs in eligible countries paved the way for wider use of the vaccine.

We recently opened the first application window to support Gavi in ​​malaria vaccine deployment “, he said dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. ” Thanks to UNICEF’s supply work, we now have more security of supply and can be one step closer to getting this life-saving vaccine to the people who need it most. Over time, we hope to ramp up the manufacture of this vaccine and thus increase the volumes produced, which would result in more profitable, lower prices. »

Lives are at stake every day WHO welcomes the progress made in ensuring timely supply and access to the vaccine so that more countries can start introducing this additional tool for malaria prevention as soon as possible “, he said dr Kate O’Brien, WHO Director for Immunization, Vaccines and Biological Products. ” With limited primary care, it is critical that children living in areas with the highest disease risk and need are prioritized. »

This award is the culmination of 18 months of intensive preparation and consultation with industry and partners. As the world’s largest buyer of vaccines, UNICEF has accelerated the completion of purchase negotiations to ensure there are no delays in the delivery of malaria vaccines contribute to the protection of vulnerable children.

Rely on partnerships and technology transfers to accelerate access to this vaccine

Demand for malaria vaccines in affected countries is expected to be high. As with any new vaccine, supply will initially be limited and will increase over time as production capacity reaches required levels. As the volume increases, the cost per dose should decrease. Plans are already in place to ramp up production, including through technology transfer, so that every vulnerable child will one day have the opportunity to be vaccinated against this deadly disease.

We must not lose sight of the need to accelerate access to this vaccine and future malaria vaccines, and to make the necessary investments in the fight against this disease and in immunization services, as well as in research and development “, he said dr Ashley Birkett, Global Head of Malaria Vaccines and Biologicals at PATH. ” Effective immunization and malaria control programs are critical both to the successful delivery of malaria vaccines and to strengthening health systems overall. »

UNICEF supports regional diversification of vaccine production and encourages GSK and other vaccine manufacturers to consider partnering with companies in Africa as part of that effort.”

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